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I have two supers half full of honey, or should I say nectar, that I’d like to take off as it’s getting a bit late in the year and I’m sure there’s not time for them to fill and cap them.I can't extract them so what’s your advice?
 

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Combine the supers to make a full one, and leave them on the hive for food. Golden Rod and Aster are still blooming.
 

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We try to pull before the aster bloom is heavy because it crystalizes so darn fast. You can dry that honey by putting it in a warm room with a dehumidifier and a window fan blowing air over the frames for a couple of days. 101's suggestion is good also as you can get full supers to extract and leave extra ( half finished) for the bees, which will give you a better spring crop due to better build up.
 

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You could certainly be right Michael. It’s just that I want to be conservative and be sure to let them PACK their two brood boxes for the winter. I was just curious as to what people do with a super that has, lets say only half the frames capped. While I will spin a frame that’s only half capped I could be looking at multiple uncapped frames.
Thanks all for your advice!
 

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Duality,

I see you're from the same region as I am. Goldenrod's just getting into swing now. I usually wait until the last week of Sept./first week of Oct. before pulling the last frames off. Alot can happen in a couple of weeks - especially since we finally got some decent rain and the daytime temps are around 80-ish yet.

Michael,

Anything else special that you do when you put the half-filled supers above the inner cover? Do you remove the queen excluder (if you use one) too? I've tried this in the past and haven't had much luck with the girls cleaning the frames out.

Cheers,
Doug
 

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Frankly I don't understand why y'all think you have to pull everything off right this minute. Most places still have a fall flow ahead and the bees need somewhere to put all of that flow. Some years it's a significant amount of honey. Some years it's not. Usually they will fill the brood nest when they want to shut down the queen. Granted sometimes the fall flow gets cut short by an early freeze, but usually they shut down the queen by clogging the brood nest with honey before the fall flow completely dies out.

>Anything else special that you do when you put the half-filled supers above the inner cover?

I usually don't. I just leave them until they are full, but if you put them above the inner cover they will either empty them or they will fill them. They seldom ignore them unless the bottom boxes are full.

> Do you remove the queen excluder (if you use one) too?

I don't use one.

> I've tried this in the past and haven't had much luck with the girls cleaning the frames out.

Sometimes they will fill them if there's a flow. If there's no room below, obviously they won't move it down.
 

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Hi, this thread is interesting as we just extracted about twenty frames. Last year we put the supers with the empty frames out in the open to let them clean them out. A disaster. It started a robbing frenzy and destroyed one hive. This year we gave the supers with the drawn empty frames back to the hives they came from. So far all is calm. We placed them and under the inner cover with two partially filled honey supers below. Of course, below that are two deep brood supers. Question is: Will the bees clean the empty frames?
Will the bees continue filling the lower honey supers if there is a flow? Should we, and when should we, pull all the honey supers for winter storage? Thanks for your input.
 

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Duality
I am not sure where you are but close to me i am sure.Like said do not get in a hurry there is time left here in N Oh to get it done.The godenrod is nearing peak bloom.If your hive is strong they will finsh the supers.I still have a few supers on myself.They are just starting to work the fall flowers now.Let them be for 7 to 10 days and look again.the flow all but stoped here for a month but it is picking up a bit in the last week.I like the mixed honey the best as in some of each flow it is great stuff.
 

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>Question is: Will the bees clean the empty frames?

Yes.

>Will the bees continue filling the lower honey supers if there is a flow?

Most liekly.

>Should we, and when should we, pull all the honey supers for winter storage?

I wait for a freeze because I don't want the wax moths getting into them. After a freeze the moths that would lay more eggs have died and the it's likely you'll get freezing weather to kill any eggs in the combs. Until then, I want the bees to gaurd them.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Mitch & Others, I’m leaving soon on a two week business trip and is the reason I wanted to finish things up now, but, based on all the feedback I’m just going to take it easy and expect a nice surprise when I get home


Alex, while I have put wet supers out to be cleaned, this time of year it attracts the worst vermin (yellow jackets, hornets) and I HATE feeding those buggers!
 

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Duality
Sounds like a plan to me.First frost is about Oct 15th.I set my supers out in the open only if i have no weak hives or put them a half mile down the lane it keep dow on robbing then.As far as Y.Js and Hornets they are abit of a problem they fight with the honey bees you may lose a few bees but you lose alot more of the vermin.
 

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I have put the wet supers above the inner cover without a queen excluder.

Question 1: Is the queen likely to move up and establish the brood nest upstairs.

Question 2: How can you start treating with menthol or feeding sugar water with supers on?

Question 3: Is there enough fall flow in northern Illinois for the bees to gather a honey crop that will last through winter?
 

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I have put the wet supers above the inner cover without a queen excluder.

<If there is a fall flow on they will fill the supers


Question 1: Is the queen likely to move up and establish the brood nest upstairs.

<no not likely>


Question 2: How can you start treating with menthol or feeding sugar water with supers on?

<You could put the methol in but i am not sure how you could feed from the top.Are your hives lite on winter stores?

Question 3: Is there enough fall flow in northern Illinois for the bees to gather a honey crop that will last through winter?

<I am not sure what is flowing in your area but there should be some honey now and if you have a fall flow it will help.

<check you hives to see how heavy they are before you decide to feed in the fall.A simple way to do this is pick up on the rear of the hive with one hand on the bottom of the bottom board.This will give you an idea of how much hioney is there.
 

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Thanks for the tips. Things are different from year to year. I expected many yellow jackets this year based on much drought. Actually we have almost none. We have many more bumble bees though. Our honey bees are quite calm after pulling some honey from them and I hope they stay that way after cleaning the extractor and the tools, we will see. We are starting to have a lot of activity but I don't know what they are bringing in, it must be golden rod. Take care and have fun.
 

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>Question 1: Is the queen likely to move up and establish the brood nest upstairs.

Not likely.

>Question 2: How can you start treating with menthol or feeding sugar water with supers on?

As long as they are not storing honey in them it's not a big problem, but if youwant to use the menthol, I'd probably pull them off during the treatment. But then I've never used menthol.

>Question 3: Is there enough fall flow in northern Illinois for the bees to gather a honey crop that will last through winter?

Most years. I never count on it. Pay attention and if the hives are light when the fall flow lets down, then feed.
 

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why put the wet empty supers ABOVE the inner cover? - is this to establish a priority zone below (still have half capped supers on) - would seem to make them more difficult to get to.
 

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victor
I think the idea is to seperate the super you want cleaned up from the hive so the bees will move the honey down.the only time i have had good luck putting supers on above the inner cover is when there is no flow.They will fill them if they have a good flow whether they are above the cover or not
 

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True, if there is a flow they will fill them. If there is not they are just quicker to move the honey down and store it in the lower boxes if it's above the inner cover. You can put them below and it MAY work as well or they may decide to consolidate it more in the supers you put on instead of moving it down for winter stores.

But it just gives them some incentive to move it down.
 
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